A&B Inside Story – Susie’s Google Play Interview

Earlier this month, Susie shared the A&B story, as well as tips for those just starting out in the industry, in Google Play’s Partner Newsletter. Have a read through the interview below!

How did your publishing experience start?
I joined William Collins (later HarperCollins) in the late 1980s as the secretary to a sales manager who looked after the book club sales. As he was retiring, I got hugely involved in all aspects of the job and in those pre-email, pre-internet days, it meant talking to colleagues and clients on a daily basis.

I learnt so much as I flitted around the various departments – everyone from marketing and publicity to art/design and production were vital to our sales role. I wouldn’t be in the position of Publishing Director today if I hadn’t had such an amazing grounding in all aspects of the publishing process.

How did the growth of the ebook industry impact you?
It was a slow start for us, being such a small publisher, but as soon as we joined the Faber Factory initiative, things started to pick up. We saw massive growth in the first 18 months and it was amazing to see the reading public take to electronic books so much.

The growth of the format impacts hugely on my acquisition and publishing decisions and I will often judge a book on the prospective merits of its digital sale. Having said that, I still publish books I love and can’t live without, even if I think we won’t sell one copy!

What tip would you give to authors or publishers who are just getting started?
Do your homework and research everything you can. Look at other authors and publishers who are making an impact in the areas you want to be involved in. Are your covers as eye-catching as theirs?

Think of how your book will look as a thumbnail on a website or Twitter. Get your work reviewed by bloggers and readers alike. Peer review is just as vital as the more traditional print/radio media reviews nowadays.

Get visible – if your metadata is spot on, your book can rise above the rest. Don’t be afraid of criticism and taking advice. There are lots of other publishers and authors out there who are happy to share their experiences, good and bad.

 

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